“The Good Life as Radical Practice”
Love is a practice.
Rest is a practice.
Peace(making) is a practice.
Empathy is a practice.
Kindness is a practice.
Doing good to others is a practice.
Forgiveness is a practice.
Transformation is a practice.
Tolerance is a practice.
Humility is a practice.
None of these human virtues or qualities is natural to any human being in the world. In other words, each individual is responsible to learn how to rest, love, make peace, and show empathy and kindness toward other people. We do not naturally prompt to forgive those who’ve wronged us nor do we automatically demonstrate acts of goodness and compassion toward all people. Growing is natural to our evolution and experience in life, and we must grow always toward these ideals and perfections.
However, we can love and forgive people by seeing how it’s done to others. While we may have the disposition to perform or demonstrate any of these human qualities, it might require an external force, an influencer in our lives from whom we can learn, lean on, or look up to practice the good life and humanize all aspects of life. Sometimes, all we need is the heart of a mentor and the will of a role model. Remember that every virtue is connected to humility as an everyday practice.
Therefore, surround yourself with individuals who are known for practicing good virtues and others who strive daily to live in community and harmony with others, act relationally, and have the intentionality to make living more humane–toward the common good and human flourishing in the world. Having a good mentor and role model is vital for character development and the radically-transformed life.
Learn to be a “practitioner,” and a “doer” of all these things for the sake of all people. A practitioner understands that good virtues are part of the different processes and phases of life that make individuals more humane, and that these ideals are in-tune with the reality of life and human experience. As you continue to grow toward these virtues, be patient with yourself so you could also mark people’s lives through your radical kindness and love.